Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Grampy's Approval

My grandfather is a great man. I tell you, the closest thing I've ever had to an idol is my Grampy. It has always seemed to me that he could do anything. He could find his way through the densest forest without using his compass, could lift his boat on and off of the truck, could find where the mackerel were running, and he knew everyone. My Grampy could never get hurt. Instead, he'd always say, "It's only pain".

Grampy could split the biggest piece of wood with only one swing of his axe, could shoot a deer in the perfect spot to kill it instantly every time, and could take fish off of the hooks faster than my eyes could follow.

I've looked up to my grandfather for as long as I can remember, and I have no doubt that it is due, in part, to the "brainwashing" he put each of us kids through. See, when I was born, Grampy would come to the hospital on his lunch-break, hold me and chant, "Grampy's boy, Grampy's boy" over and over again.

Grampy has always been there for me, always been encouraging, has always been the strong "man's man." Additionally, Grampy has been strong in the faith, and has been an example of always trusting in the Lord.

Because of the great and mighty man that Grampy has always been, I've continued to look up to him through my whole life. Along with my father, he has shown me what a real man is, and that you can trust God even through the hardest times of life.

My Grampy was, and is, a great story-teller. I can't even begin to tell you the stories he's told me; stories of Coony's Ridges, the Scraggly Pine, Kipling's stories about Rikki-Tikki-Tavi, the time when Uncle Russ lost his finger, how when he and Nana were first married they looked through the glass window in the oven to watch cakes rise.

I have spent my life trying to live up to the shadow, to the example that Grampy has made every day of his life. I have tried, and failed at times, to be like Grampy. In him, I've seen a tremendous example of who I should be in Christ. My father claims the same thing; that Grampy taught him how to be a good, Christian man.

I appreciate my father too, and as I said earlier, he also has shown me what a real man is, and that you can trust God even through the hardest times of life. I love my father, but this post is about Grampy.

As the title of this post indicates, what I've searched for in life is Grampy's approval. For anyone who doesn't know my grandfather, that may make it sound as though he's some awful person who can't be pleased. That is not the case at all! Rather, he is such a great man, that all I've wanted is to have him be proud of me. If Grampy is proud of me, then I know I've done well.

I know my grandfather to be a man who seeks to please God, and who strives to be a good Christian. Because of that, I know that following his example will keep me in good stead.

It is wonderful that Grampy has always shown himself to be that Real Man throughout life, but I want to tell you that even when things have been bleak, hard, and downright awful, he has still been that strong man that I've watched growing up.

His authenticity of faith, his honour, his integrity, all these things encourage me, and make me want to be more and more like him. I want to be a man like my grandfather is. When I was a child, that translated into dressing like he did, talking like he did, and even trying to sneeze like he did. Now that I am a man, I realize that the outward trappings are not what makes up my grandfather. No, it is his faith, love, strength, and courage that makes him my Grampy.

What I want is to have my Grampy and my God proud of me. Again, I want others to be proud too (namely my wife, parents, and siblings), but this is about Grampy.

Let me close by saying that my Grampy has done nothing but good to me, and I love him with all of my heart. I only hope that, should the Lord tarry until I have grandchildren, I will know that I've been the same kind of man as my Grampy has been.

I love you Grampy, and I can't even begin to tell you how much I appreciate you.


P.S. The worst thing that Grampy has ever done to me is made me read Kipling's "The Power of the Dog". So, in honour of my Grampy, here it is copied for all of you to sob your eyes out at.

There is sorrow enough in the natural way
From men and women to fill our day;
And when we are certain of sorrow in store,
Why do we always arrange for more?
Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.

Buy a pup and your money will buy
Love unflinching that cannot lie--
Perfect passion and worship fed
By a kick in the ribs or a pat on the head.
Nevertheless it is hardly fair
To risk your heart to a dog to tear.
When the fourteen years which Nature permits
Are closing in asthma, or tumour, or fits,
And the vet's unspoken prescription runs
To lethal chambers or loaded guns,
Then you will find--it's your own affair--
But ... you've given your heart to a dog to tear.
When the body that lived at your single will,
With its whimper of welcome, is stilled (how still!)
When the spirit that answered your every mood
Is gone--wherever it goes--for good,
You will discover how much you care,
And will give your heart to a dog to tear.
We've sorrow enough in the natural way,
When it comes to burying Christian clay.
Our loves are not given, but only lent,
At compound interest of cent per cent.
Though it is not always the case, I believe,
That the longer we've kept 'em, the more do we grieve:
For, when debts are payable, right or wrong,
A short-term loan is as bad as a long--
So why in--Heaven (before we are there)
Should we give our hearts to a dog to tear?

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